The reality of Liverpool transfer links to Kylian Mbappe

Talk of Kylian Mbappe leaving Paris Saint-Germain is back again and so are the links to Liverpool, but what are the actual chances of a deal?

The 24-year-old striker has just one year left on his contract in the French capital and has refused to sign an extension.

Many reports say the player has already agreed a deal with Real Madrid and is prepared to wait out the remainder of his contract with PSG before moving next summer.

Desperate not to lose a player they have invested hundreds of millions in over the years for free, PSG are now prepared to sell Mbappe rather than let him walk in 2024, and have left him out of their pre-season tour of Japan as the saga rumbles on.

Instead, the France captain has been left at home to train with a group of players known as the 'undesirables' — including ex-Liverpool man Gini Wijnaldum.

Why is Mbappe running his contract down?


If Mbappe remains at PSG until the summer of 2024, he will be owed at least €80m as a 'loyalty' bonus. He also stands to earn another €70m a year from his basic salary with the French champions.

The prospect of losing out on this windfall is obviously as unappealing to Mbappe as it is a priority for PSG, who want to avoid continuing to pay massive amounts to a player who is planning to walk away without a transfer fee.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi summed up the situation at the presentation of new manager of Luis Enrique, saying: "Our position is very clear. If Kylian Mbappe wants to stay - we want him to stay - he needs to sign a new contract.

"We cannot let the best player in the world right now leave for free. That is impossible. This is a French club and, as he has said, he is not planning to leave for free."

Saudi bid

Meanwhile, with PSG keen to sell now if Mbappe refuses to sign a new deal, PIF-backed Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal have reportedly made a €300m offer.

The figure dwarfs the world-record €220m PSG paid for Neymar back in 2017.

PSG are, unsurprisingly, thought to be prepared to accept the bid, though the final decision sits with Mbappe.

James Benge reports that (incredibly) Al-Hilal are prepared to offer a €700m salary package for a single year(!!), after which Mbappe would be allowed to leave for free to join Madrid if he still wishes.

Meanwhile, other clubs including Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been linked in the press, as PSG search for suitors to stop the Real Madrid free transfer happening.

AS even suggest the Reds could be preparing a "monumental" bid.

What has Mbappe said about Liverpool?

Links between Liverpool and Mbappe date back to even before his move to PSG in 2017.

Liverpool were among the many clubs to make overtures at the player when he was a Monaco wonderkid but their interest ultimately came to nothing.

However, several public comments from Mbappe have kept the hope of a transfer alive in the hearts and minds of some fans.

Back in 2020, the Frenchman praised Jurgen Klopp's side in an interview with the BBC: "What Liverpool do in this moment is amazing. They're like a machine, they've found a rhythm and are like 'we play again, we play again'.

And in 2022, Mbappe told the Telegraph: "I talked to Liverpool because it’s the favourite club of my mum, my mum loves Liverpool. I don’t know why, you will have to ask her! It’s a good club and we met them five years ago. When I was in Monaco I met them. It’s a big club."

So, do Liverpool have a chance of signing Mbappe?

In a word, no.

Regardless of whether Mbappe does move this summer or next, Liverpool remain an improbable destination.

Football Transfers report that Liverpool have made contact with the forward's representatives, but simply cannot compete financially with his other suitors.

Regardless of his obvious talent and how much he would improve any squad, the Reds simply cannot (and will not) put up world-record figures for transfers or wages to sign players. FSG's modus operandi at Liverpool (rightly or wrongly) has been to sign from the next tier down of footballing talent, preferring to unearth and mould superstars, rather than buy ready-made ones.

In terms of wages, Mbappe's reported €70m a year salary at PSG is around four times that of Liverpool's highest earner Mohamed Salah.

Even if Liverpool somehow found the money for a bid (putting aside their needs for a defensive midfielder and centre back) and had a strategic change of heart, Mbappe is unlikely to look beyond Real Madrid who have long been cited as he's preferred destination.

Sadly, Liverpool's negotiating position with a player of Mbappe's calibre is particularly weak at the moment, as they cannot offer Champions League football this season.

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